From 1896 through 1905, West Boylston, MA saw the construction of the Wachusett Reservoir. Unfortunately, this resulted in the destruction of mills, farms, and homes as the valley was flooded by the new reservoir. The only structure left standing in that valley was the Old Stone Church which was completed in 1892. This was actually the second structure built on that location, replacing an earlier building finished in 1832. In 1973, the Old Stone Church was declared a National Landmark. It’s a great location for photos, especially the creepy interior.
This past weekend, visitors to Old Sturbridge Village (one of the best places on Earth) were treated to view and help out with the annual apple harvest. Crisp air and the smell of fresh apples added to the old New England charm of the village. The apples were picked from the trees in the old fashioned way with a toothed tin basket attached to a pole. We even got to try our hand at the tedious but strangely relaxing work.
On display and available for tasting were many heirloom apples, types that were widely grown in New England in the 1800’s but are very rare today. Most of them I had never heard of. My favorite was the Titus Pippin from 1841. Back then apples were grown mostly for cider because good drinking water was not available. The oxen of Sturbridge Village were busy working in the cider mill while pies were being made in the small cottages.
The tickets at Old Sturbridge Village are good for 10 days, so of course I will be going back for some more photos. Stay tuned!
Last weekend in Krakow, set before the backdrop of Wawel castle, was the medieval fair called Jarmark Swiętojański. It was interesting to see what life was like in medieval Poland. On display was a blacksmith shop, beer making, printing, armory and weapons, cooking displays, sewing, salt refining, jewelry, wood carving , and more.
Of special interest was the horse shows. Riders were displaying ancient skills such as archery, jousting, and swordsmanship. These guys were pretty good! They managed to pick up small rings with the tip of their lance, hit targets, and splatter eggs with their swords, all on a moving horse. The show ended with a real joust competition in full armor. Lances shattered as they hit their opponent, sending large wood splinters in all directions. I’m surprised nobody got seriously hurt!
More photos here!